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Alcohol

I'm a Southern Baptist, it's true. I have been one since fourth grade. I was always brought up that drinking alcohol is wrong, wrong, WRONG.

But in this age where babies are slaughtered by the millions, truth is relative, child molesters prowl the streets and the internet freely, most TV isn't fit to watch, people are completely biblically illiterate, WHY talk about the "evils" of "fire water"?

The Bible speaks against getting drunk, not drinking. Each person has to follow his or her own conscience about this, but why make such an issue about drinking? Does it really matter if I have a glass of wine with dinner or a beer with a bratwurst? If I cook with whiskey and sherry and wine? I don't get drunk. I've never been drunk in my life. Am I less holy or righteous in God's eyes because of this? Is this a matter of liberty?? Thoughts, anyone?

An additional thought--I got to thinking that the last post puts this one in perspective...

10 comments:

I'm Lutheran, and we go by what the Bible says. As you rightly observe, the sin is being drunk, not drinking. I'm with you on this one.

May 4, 2007 at 2:13 PM  

I've thought about this one a lot. It's sort of one of those "hot topics," for christians, plus I have some personal experience with it. I don't drink, and I don't buy alcohol period.
This may sound out there, but it's really because I don't want to be responsible for causing a, "weaker brother." to stumble. Maybe someone you know (or don't know) is an alcoholic, a recovering alcoholic, or has a predisposition to alcohol, and is in a hard way. What if he (the weaker brother) passes by me, and sees me at the grocery store buying alcohol? Or what if he's working at the checkout counter? He has no idea that it's wine's for cooking, or whatever. Then he thinks something along the lines of, "well she's a christian (and the Pastor's wife!), and she does it, so it must be alright."
I actually have an immediate family member who is a recovering alcoholic, and I know how hard it is for him. In fact, the family tried to be very sensitive to this fact after he came out of recovery. People didn't drink around him, when they normally would have. Them doing that, I believe, really helped him.

May 4, 2007 at 11:23 PM  

I so see your point, helpmeet. It certainly is important to be sensitive to those around us, but I think the principle would be hard to apply in all areas of our lives, such as food. Should I not eat a piece of cake around someone whose on a diet? Should I not have a pop around someone whose trying to cut back? People take all kinds of God's good gifts and corrupt them or take them to an extreme. Drinking alcohol is never forbidden, getting drunk is (a corruption of God's gift). Of course, for outright sins there's no question, we're to flee, but in matters of eating and drinking I think we're given great liberty to enjoy what God has given us.

May 5, 2007 at 12:46 PM  

I agree with you on this too! In fact... haha, just last night, my hubby and I, along with 2 other pastors and wives all went to a neighboring town to a brewery for dinner and drinks! WOW- if people only knew! I, too, have never been drunk and of course never intend to be in the future.
Because my husband is a student pastor we will not buy alcohol at the local grocery store. If we do want it, I have my sister buy it (sound like I'm underage!!!) or we go to a drive-through store where we don't know anyone who works there. ONLY because it's a lot harder to explain to teens about moderation... and the fact that our lead pastor has very differing opinions about this!!!
But I totally agree that it's not that big of a deal. If we are concerned about getting drunk then we need to be concerned about overeating which is glutony.

May 5, 2007 at 7:40 PM  

Thanks for posting, caroline, helpmeet, and als...it's certainly a touchy subject and one that is best left to conscience sake, in which case, I don't think there's any place to pass judgment on one another. I like that the internet can be a place to share ideas and viewpoints about stuff like this!

May 5, 2007 at 7:55 PM  

I do not believe in drunkenness. But I do believe that it is OK, and Biblical, to drink. We do buy it at our local store, and if anyone would like to judge me when I buy it, they can do that. We are pretty relaxed about the whole thing. We have some recovering alcoholics in our church and they understand, they just don't partake themselves if alcohol is served at a function they have attended.

May 5, 2007 at 9:36 PM  

It seems an extreme to compare cake to alcohol. Comparing the effects of alcohol on a believer and overeating is like comparing crack to coffee. I don’t believe that drinking alcohol is sinful. What is sinful is for a Christian to cause another brother to stumble or fall.
1Cr 8:9
But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak.
1Cr 8:10
For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;
1Cr 8:11
And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died?
1Cr 8:12
But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ.
1Cr 8:13
Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.
Paul says all things are lawful, but not all things are expedient (1 Cor 10:23).
A question I might ask myself is, “Lord I know that I have the liberty to do this, but is it expedient.”
Alcohol is a crutch for many people that keeps them away from a personal relationship with Christ. In the past, I have had a little champagne on my anniversary. It was in the privacy of our own hotel, and at other times, I’ve drank too much as a weaker Christian.
I believe that the real problem here is how I am displaying or representing Christ? As Christians, especially Pastor’s wives or ministry leaders, we need to think what is this going to do to someone who needs to replace Christ with the alcohol?

May 5, 2007 at 11:13 PM  

I'm going to find the stats on this, but my husband found a research study looking at the rates of alcoholism among different denominations (and religions). The researchers concluded that the denominations that required complete abstinence from alcohol (such as Baptists, Momons) had higher rates of alcoholism than traditions such as Judaism, Lutheranism, etc. I think this is telling. When something is completely taboo, it's more appealing but when it's used in moderation and treated as no big deal the stigma is gone. I've traveled overseas and Christians in other countries don't have these hang ups with alcohol, and they're not drunks.

May 6, 2007 at 8:55 AM  

I don't really think you should have to sneak out of town to have a drink with dinner. I do have a funny story though. Several years ago, my daughter had a pet frog. This frog eats crickets - live ones! We would drive 45 minutes to Petsmart to buy crickets for the frog. We were always on the lookout for "wild" crickets. One evening, my husband and I were coming out of the liquor store with a case of communion wine - my husband in his clerical collar - and we saw several huge crickets in the parking lot. We immediately fell to our knees and tried to grab them up. Later, we wondered what anyone driving down the road thought about the pastor on his knees in the liquor store parking lot. It's a favorite story to retell. And by the way - Jesus did turn the water into wine - his first miracle - and it was good wine, too.

May 6, 2007 at 12:06 PM  

I think Jesus drank wine... why would he have turned water into the best wine at the party if he wasn't going to have just a bit himself?
If I look around, I think generally A LOT more Christians have troubles with food addictions and obesity, than alcohol.
Plus, it's supposed to be good for your arteries. And my, can it complement a good meal!
As far as the stumbling block thing... I am very careful around friends who are alcoholics, but all of them are in AA and they always say, "Please! Go ahead! Have one glass! I need to be able to resist all the time. This is not a stumbling block issue."

And if having a drink around someone who is an alcoholic is a problem, then so is offering a piece of cake to someone who is overweight. I think there is a much greater chance of a bunch of women getting together and bingeing on food than getting drunk.

May 7, 2007 at 10:14 PM  

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